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RFID News Roundup

ABI report says UHF chipsets may lower reader prices; costs stymieing RFID in European supply chains; Avery Dennison RFID names 17 qualified converters; AeroScout, Alanco team up on Wi-Fi tracking; HID, INSIDE partnering on access control apps; New Zealand passports carrying Philips chips; South Korea approves use of Savi 433.92 MHz systems; AIM Global unveils RFID Emblem.
By Andrew Price
HID, INSIDE Partnering on Access Control Apps
HID, an Irvine, Calif., provider of RFID-based access control cards for security applications, has selected INSIDE Contactless, an RFID technology manufacturer based in France, as its exclusive provider of high frequency (13.56 MHz) chips and readers for access control devices. INSIDE has already delivered nearly 10 million of its 13.56 MHz PicoPass RFID chips to HID, as well as 13.56 MHz readers. Until now, though, the partnership between the two companies has been nonexclusive. HID subcontracts the assembly of 13.56 MHz tags using INSIDE's 2KS and 16KS chips, which offer 2 and 16 kilobits of memory, respectively, as well as support for mutual authentication. HID embeds these inlays into its iCLASS 13.56 MHz RFID smart cards, which comply with the ISO 14443B and ISO 15693 standards. INSIDE is also working with HID to develop smart cards compliant with the Federal Information Processing Standard 201, the standard for access control to rooms and buildings (physical access) and to the use of computers and similar devices (logical access) for U.S. government employees. The two companies are also evaluating how they might combine Visa Contactless payment technology with access control capabilities on one card and interrogator.

New Zealand Passports Carrying Philips Chips
The Canadian Bank Note Co., a developer of passports and other identification documents, is integrating Philips' MX P5CT072 microchip—which has 72 KB of memory and is compliant with the ISO 14443-A standard for secure RFID transmissions—into New Zealand's new electronic passports. New Zealand has named the Canadian Bank Note Co. as the lead designer and technology integrator for its electronic passport program. RFID-enabled New Zealand passports with Philips' chips were first issued in November and are currently being used in the first U.S. e-passport airport trial, taking place in Los Angeles. Manuel Albers, Philips' director of regional marketing in the Americas, and of sales and marketing for Philips' Identification division, says his company has been chosen as the RFID chip provider for 15 out of the current 20 electronic passport programs being deployed around the globe. He notes that many of these counties are not announcing details of the technology being used in their passports, but that Austria and Germany have also named Philips as the provider of chips used in their e-passports.

South Korea Approves Use of Savi 433.92 MHz Systems
The South Korean Government has certified Savi Technology, a Sunnyvale, Calif., provider of RFID-based supply chain solutions, to use the 433.92 MHz radio frequency band for active RFID tags and interrogators. The decision by the Ministry of Information and Communication (MIC) supports the ISO 18000-7 standard operating at 433.92 MHz, and enables deployment of Savi's RFID-based solutions in South Korea. One of Asia's largest trading partners with the United States, South Korea ships about 900,000 containers of goods between the countries annually, according to Savi. Specifically, MIC granted certification for the use of Savi's ST-654 active RFID tag, which has transmission ranges up to 300 feet, and Savi's SR-650 interrogator. These devices are used for tracking shipping containers, vehicles and other large assets.

AIM Global Unveils RFID Emblem
Auto-ID industry trade association AIM Global has released its "RFID Emblem," an updated version of its "RFID Mark" designed a year ago. The organization's North America Standards Action Group (NASAG) developed the AIM RFID Emblem to provide those who handle or process hardware or RFID-tagged goods with a visual guide to identify RFID-enabled labels and tags and their compatibility. There are two types of emblem: one for identifying which RFID tags, interrogators and printer-encoders are compatible with each other, and one for identifying the frequency, coding authority (such as EPCglobal or the U.S. Department of Defense) and data construction (such as serialized global location number or license plate identification) used for the RFID inlay within a tag or smart label. Tag and interrogator manufacturers or smart label converters would be responsible for attaching or printing the emblems to devices or labels, but AIM Global says the use of the emblems would be voluntary. The emblems use two-character codes that combine either a letter and number or a letter and symbol. The codes' meanings can be found on a public index, accessible here. The new graphic retains the same code structure of the earlier design, but adds "RFID" to the graphic. AIM designed the new graphic to be bolder and less technical, yet still recognizable and easily reproducable by any printing, engraving or molding process. The group suggests the text "AIM RFID Emblem" be placed adjacent to the emblem and notes that it is in discussion with the International Standards Organization (ISO) to incorporate the emblem into a certification program for ISO-compliant RFID tags and interrogators-printers.

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